What We Do in the Shadows

March 1, 2019


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Ever curious, I’d been wondering where Taika Waititi came from – like what did he do before Thor: Ragnarok? A quick google pointed me towards his vampire mockumentary with Jemaine Clement, What We Do in the Shadows. I’d had it filed away in the back of my mind for awhile, until I saw a commercial for an upcoming TV series based on the film. Oooh, better get on it!

Having a weekend of flying ahead of me, WWDitS was the first thing I downloaded from Prime. Filmed in two camera documentary style, it wasn’t the easiest film to watch in daylight, on a 7 inch tablet – keeping with the vampire theme, it is rather dark and grainy at times. I squinted my eyes and blazed forward. Goddamn, this is one of the funniest vampire films I’ve ever seen – and there are A LOT of funny vampire films – Fearless Vampire Hunters, Vampire’s Kiss, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Once Bitten, Innocent Blood, Queen of the Damned – oops, I don’t think that last one was supposed to be a comedy.

I have a total crush on Vladislav, probably because he reminds me of my BFF’s future husband, Voltaire. I know his look was a nod to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but I didn’t hate it.

Taika’s Viago is a dandy vampire, with a tragic backstory. He is roommates with Vladislav, the Nosferatu-esque Petyr and the Lugosi-ish Duncan – they all share a Wellington flat…and argue over who is going to do the dishes. They also go clubbing, try to lure victims and get into a turf war with the local werewolf pack. It is sidesplittingly funny – it’s a dry humor, though not as dry as British humor, with a bit more of the physical comedy. I’ll never get over the vampire sissy slap fight or Vladislav’s failure to “get the face right”.

I don’t know if it is valid to say I have a “New Zealand sense of humor”, just based on Taika Waititi and Peter Jackson – I cannot even think of anyone else from New Zealand. <Googles New Zealand Celebrities…> Nope.

Year – 2014
Rating – R
Runtime – 86 minutes
Genre – Mockumentary
Director(s) – Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi
Writer(s) – Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi
Actor(s) – Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonny Brugh, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, Stu Rutherford
BOB Rating – Four BOBs
Favorite Quote – "I think of it like this. If you are going to eat a sandwich, you would just enjoy it more if you knew no one had fucked it." - Vladislav (Jemaine Clement)